The Penn men’s lacrosse team may have ended the 2013 season on a sour note, but don’t let that fool you. The Quakers also provided many great moments en route to a solid 8-5 season. Let’s look back at the top five:
1. Taming the Tigers
A matchup with Ivy rival Princeton by itself is plenty for Penn fans to get excited about. Add a combination of snow, rain and hail to the equation, and you have the making of an Ancient Eight classic.
In a game that was delayed in the second half for 30 minutes due to lightning, the Red and Blue were able to hold off a late Princeton rally to defeat the No. 7 Tigers, 11-10. The upset was by far the most impressive victory of the season for the upstart Quakers. Penn was led in the back-and-forth affair by then-sophomore Isaac Bock, who notched three goals, and then-junior goalkeeper Brian Feeney, who stopped 10 shots.
2. Dancing with the Blue Devils
Coming off of a frustrating 3-10 season in 2012, the Quakers were an unknown entity at the start of their 2013 campaign. This only made it all the more impressive when Penn defeated No. 14 Duke, - a perennial powerhouse in men’s lacrosse - in its season opener. The Red and Blue rode a wave of youthful enthusiasm in a dominant second-half display, ultimately winning, 14-9. The victory was a sign of things to come for the Quakers.
“The way we see it is, it’s a climb,” then-senior captain Tim Schwalje said at the time. “And this is just the first step.”
3. Bouncing back
Coming off of their first loss of the year against Denver, the Quakers bounced back in impressive fashion. On Mar. 5, the Red and Blue took a trip to Bethlehem, Pa., where they faced No. 19 Lehigh. And they made sure to bring their defense along with them. In their most dominant defensive performance of the season, the Quakers won, 6-4. Penn was led by Feeney, who had a career performance with 17 saves on the day.
4. Taking reality to task
Going into its matchup with city-rival St. Joseph’s, Penn was riding high off of its impressive win against Duke. The second game of the year was a reality check for the Quakers, as their offense stalled for most of the game. With the score tied 5-5 late in the game though, then-sophomore attack Will Laco drove up the field for the game-winning goal, extending Penn’s impressive start to the season.
“It felt good to get that goal at the end,” Laco said. “We found a way to win.”
5. Home sweet home
Coming off of a tough overtime loss to Harvard, the Quakers took care of business at home on Apr. 20 against a lowly Dartmouth squad, knocking down the Big Green, 11-2. It was the Quakers’ largest margin of victory all season.